Pre-Conference Course:
Refresher Building Blocks -
               (For both Supervisory and Non-Supervisory PSAP personnel)
- Dave Larton, First Contact 9-1-1, LLC
Crisis Communications:  Dispatchers and calltakers always wonder about getting 'The Call'...perhaps a suicidal caller, an officer down call on the radio, or the screams of a mother whose baby is choking.  How do we quickly establish trust and rapport with the caller, how do we defuse this potentially deadly situation and yet manage to get the best information we can on the telephone?

Your Instructor, a certified Hostage Negotiator as well as a veteran 9-1-1 Dispatcher, will show you those important Active Listening Principles you'll be able to use in virtually any situation: on the phone, on the air, at home, at work.

The first lesson? To get the best information, you need to be a better listener.  We'll show you how.
9-1-1 Ethics and Liability:  Explore the worlds of Best Practices, Ethics and Dispatch Liability. We’ll help you answer these questions:
  • What are the two main reasons that 9-1-1 is exposed to potential Liability actions?
  • Why are Ethics important in our line of work?
  • What are considered examples of Best Practices in the Dispatch Center?
  • What’s the difference between a procedure and policy?
  • What elements are necessary in writing a successful departmental policy?
  • What are the four elements of a claim of Negligence?
  • What are Administrative and Ministerial duties?
  • How does potential Liability affect our Dispatch operations?
  • What is Vicarious Liability, and how does it affect me as a Trainer or Supervisor?
  • Why is proper documentation so important? How can we improve?

If you've wondered if your actions were doing was ethical or not, you need this course. We'll have examples of those events you'll have in the Center when you'll wonder about 'doing the right thing'...

We’ll examine what constitutes an outstanding Dispatch Center, and show you Case Histories of those Centers who 'took their eyes off the ball' and regretted it later.

Whether you’re new to the dispatch field, or an experienced veteran, you’ll get a lot out of our “what you need to know” approach to 9-1-1 ethics and liability!
Multi-Tasking Skills:

What is Multitasking?

Do we really actually multitask – or just assume that we do?

Some recent studies have shown that the human brain cannot do more than one thing at a time, yet we persist in the belief that multitasking helps us get more done.

What can dispatchers do to get more done in a short period of time?  We have information and some exercises for you that will help you be more efficient in your work, and ways to help ensure that you don’t miss details when working a major incident.

Customer Service: 

We know, just from watching the evening newscast or reading an Internet newsgroup, what can happen when bad things happen on a 9-1-1 line. Customer service in the Dispatch Center involves a lot more than just being nice on the telephone. It means being 'in the moment' to assist the public, our responders as well as our co-workers to the best of our ability, even when it means dealing with people who do not understand the complexity of exactly what we do.


Who are our Customers? Who do we deal with in the progression of our shift?

Police Officers, Firefighters, Alarm Company do they treat us? So much of what we do involves HOW we say something. We'll examine nationally known companies that are known for their outstanding Customer Service skills, and how we may apply some of those same principles in your Dispatch Center.


We'll show you how to get and keep motivated, involved and 'in the zone' when you answer that 9-1-1 line. Customer Service skills that can be used for both those emergency calls and those 'other' non-emergency calls that tend to frustrate us. How to establish trust and rapport with difficult callers how to gain valuable information on each call that will help your responders to a better job for the public.


For newer members of the Dispatch Staff, this course will give you valuable tools that you can use everyday - both in and outside the Center. For old hands, this course will not only reinforce what you already know, but remind you of why we became 9-1-1 telecommunicators in the first place, to assist those in need with the passion that will truly make a difference.

Dave Larton, is from Morgan Hill, California, FC911's Operations Section Chief, has more than thirty-five years of emergency services experience, including thirteen as a Dispatcher / Trainer for the Gilroy, (CA) 9-1-1 Communications Center. He was named the 1999 recipient of the Ramona Raymond Pillar of Excellence Training Award by the Santa Clara County Public Safety Communications Managers Association, and was twice named the Department's Dispatcher of the Year.

A nine-year veteran of the Department’s Hostage Negotiation Team, Dave has served as a Tactical Dispatcher, a certified Basic and Advanced Hostage Negotiator and Technical Specialist. He is a California POST certified Peer Crisis Counselor. He is a certified S-258 Communications Incident Technician (COM-T) as well as an Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM) and a Type 3 Communications Unit Leader (COML). He is also a certified Basic Law Enforcement Instructor with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE).

As a Communications Specialist with California’s Urban Search & Rescue Task Force 3, Dave responded to the World Trade Center in September of 2001. Dave also served with the Olympic Public Safety Command at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is rated as a Weapons of Mass Destruction First Responder, and is a graduate of the Federal Department of Homeland Security’s COBRA WMD School in Anniston, Alabama.

Dave is a Founding Member of the National Incident Dispatchers Association, a member of the California Association of Hostage Negotiators, NENA, APCO, a former Vice President of the California Fire Chiefs Association (Communications Section, Northern Division), the California Tactical Dispatchers Association, the California Association of Police Training Officers, and the National Association of Field Training Officers. Dave is a former Commercial Vice President for NENA's California State Chapter, CALNENA.

Dave is the Associate Editor of 9-1-1 Magazine, and has been a contributing author for Homeland Protection Professional magazine. Dave is Chief ACS/RACES Officer for the Telecommunications Branch of the California Emergency Management Agency.

Dave is the co-author of "Incident Dispatcher: A Guide for the Professional Tactical and Incident Dispatcher".

He has been a technical consultant to the media, including script preparation for the ‘Ally McBeal’ television show and the History Channel.